Zygon: Journal of Religion & Science
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Zygon: Journal of Religion and Science
3 (3), September 1968

Table of Contents


September 1968 Editorial by Ralph Wendell Burhoe

Violence and armed force seem to have been increasing as instruments of power or control in the body politic. Throughout this century, Americans have been horrified when they have seen manifestations of this blight, such as naziism and similar political movements in other parts of the world that have sought political rule by force and violence instead of by the free consent of the governed rationally achieved. But now it would seem that even the American public is losing its capacity to find consensus by reason and is too often using force and violence to win control—in the outside world and even within its own body politic. W. E. Hocking noted in his study of the impotence of the state, published in his The Coming World Civilization, that the “police state is a sick state, on its way to death.” What is this disease that is now afflicting America as well as much of the rest of the world? Can anything be done to cure it?

Hocking noted that “the state’s incapacity arises from a failure of motivation it has hitherto been able to assume in its public. And since political society is essentially an organization of human wills, motivation is of its essence. This bare proposal is all but axiomatic; but the nature of this motivation and the sources of its health are not to be read from the surface of things.”
DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-9744.1968.tb00149.x


Teilhard de Chardin and the Orientation of Evolution: Critical Essay by Theodosius Dobzhansky

Man does not live by bread alone; he has a drive to understand himself and the universe in which he lives. There are several sources of understanding, and they are not equally congenial to different people. A powerful and articulate group holds that science is the sole and only valid source. At the opposite extreme are those who dismiss science as dealing with impersonal objects, and consequently irrelevant to problems of personal existence and selfhood. Such problems must, allegedly, be approached through personal involvement, art, poetry, mysticism, religious inspiration, and revelation. There is also a middle ground. Knowledge gained from science is as necessary as it is by itself insufficient. It must be supplemented by the insights of poets, artists, mystics, and by religious experience. Teilhard de Chardin stood firmly on this middle ground. I take my stand on this middle ground also, although my co-ordinates are not quite the same as Teilhard’s. …
Theodosius Dobzhansky is professor of genetics at Rockefeller University.
DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-9744.1968.tb00150.x

Testing the Teilhardian Foundations by George A. Riggan

Teilhard’s Constructive Aim and Method

Christianity in Crisis—a Proposed Resolution. “Despite a certain renewal of its hold upon the conservative (or undeveloped) elements in the world population, Christianity is decidedly and quite obviously losing its prestige and its attraction for the most influential and progressive portion of humanity. Though Christianity still partially shelters, it no longer covers, nor satisfies, nor guides the modern soul. This holds true not only among pagans and simple believers, but even at the heart of the religious orders.” Thus in 1953 Teilhard de Chardin characterized the crisis in Christian faith.¹

Yet Teilhard himself saw in that crisis no reason to abandon the Christian faith. He remained until his death in 1955 a Jesuit, obedient to his superiors even when they forbade him to publish the philosophico-theological essays that he esteemed the best fruit of his two-fold career in science and religion.

He perceived the crisis, therefore, not as challenging the essential wisdom of the Judeo-Christian tradition, but rather as demanding translations of that wisdom in terms of the current scientific world view. On his view, the validity of Christian symbols is now obscured by their close connection with a pre-evolutionary cosmology—once viable but now obsolete. He sought, therefore, to couple those symbols with an evolutionary or “genetic” understanding of man and his world. In effect, he regarded his theological work as “nothing but the transposition into cosmogenic dimensions of the traditional view expressed in cosmic terms: Creation, Spirit, Evil, God (and more specifically, original sin, the Cross, the Resurrection, the Parousia, Charity …)—all these notions, once they are transposed to a ‘genesis’ dimension, become amazingly clear and coherent.”² …
¹ Teilhard de Chardin, “Le Dieu de l’évolution,” p. 1 of the typescript deposited in the Hammond Library, Chicago Theological Seminary, by George Crespy. This essay is scheduled to appear in the standard edition of his posthumous publications, Oeuvres (hereafter “Oe.”), Vol. XI, Christianisme et Evolution (Paris: Seuil).
² From a letter of January 1, 1951, in part as quoted by Claude Cuénot, Teilhard de Chardin, a Biographical Study (Baltimore: Helicon Press, 1965), p. 273.

George A. Riggan is Riley Professor of Systematic Theology at the Hartford Seminary Foundation.
DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-9744.1968.tb00151.x

A Selected Bibliography of the Works of Teilhard de Chardin compiled by George A. Riggan

Œuvres de Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, Éditions du Seuil—listed here are the collected works together with their English translations. His paleontological writings do not appear in this series.

An Alphabetical Index to Selected Articles

The most complete bibliography of Teilhard’s works is that of Claude Cuénot, in Teilhard de Chardin, a Biographical Study (Baltimore: Helicon, 1965), pages 409-84. Cuénot lists the works in the chronological order in which Teilhard wrote them and details the history of their publication to 1965.

The alphabetical listing below presents from Cuénot’s bibliography only those articles in which Teilhard sets forth his synthesis of science and theology. The date of original drafting appear in parentheses. …
George A. Riggan is Riley Professor of Systematic Theology at the Hartford Seminary Foundation.
DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-9744.1968.tb00152.x

Uncertainty as a Parameter of Ethics by Dwight J. Ingle

In the story of Jean Paul Richter’s dream, a man enters the vestibule of heaven and is carried to universe upon universe in endless space, until—“… the man sighed and stopped, shuddered and wept. His overladen heart uttered itself in tears, and he said, ‘Angel, I will go no further; for the spirit of man acheth with his infinity. Insufferable is the Glory of God. Let me lie down in the grave and hide me from the persecution of the Infinite, for end I see there is none.’”

This is a review of some of the limitations on knowledge, freedom, and responsibility, which have implications for ethics. Man has developed a great body of knowledge and concepts which are accepted as verities, but he cannot escape an infinitude of uncertainties. My conclusion that many ethical judgments must assume risks, not a new insight, is deducted from an account of the bases of uncertainty. Science and ethics provide aids to decision in the face of uncertainty. The principles of scientific inquiry are the best means of determining “that which is—”knowledge is necessary for morality—but do not suffice for determining “that which ought to be.” …
Dwight J. Ingle is professor of physiology at the University of Chicago.
DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-9744.1968.tb00153.x

Is Science Moral? by Lawrence C. Becker

It is difficult to discuss the morality of science now without being drawn into something like an adversary proceeding—where the object is more to win than to make sense. On the one side are the rather perverse charges: science “dehumanizes” and destroys the values of the spirit; it is outracing our ability to integrate its findings sanely into our moral life; it is fragmenting society into “two cultures”; it is exaggerated into “the sole source of authentic knowledge.” On the other side are the equally perverse replies: science is and must remain amoral; moral judgment can only be passed on men—in this case scientists—and not on their enterprise itself; it is not the discoveries of science which should be condemned, but how those discoveries are used; scientists usually have little to do with how their discoveries are finally used, so to blame scientists exclusively is to scapegoat: if there is any blame at all it rests on the public in general—of which scientists are of course a part, but only a small part.

As I say, these charges and countercharges miss the point, and the adversary proceedings they generate entrench mistakes on both sides. What follows is intended as a fresh start. If it succeeds it will not only reveal the nature of the mistakes just mentioned but also provide the rudiments of a more pertinent moral critique of science. …
Lawrence C. Becker is assistant professor of philosophy at Hollins College (Virginia).
DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-9744.1968.tb00154.x

The Scope and Limitation of Science by H. Stanley Bennett

Science can be defined as the study of nature and of its properties. It places chief reliance on the direct study of natural phenomena. It has the aim of giving us understanding of nature, by which one means the capacity to relate and to group observed properties and phenomena in logically consistent ways, permitting the formulation of generalizations and of predictions, which can then be tested by further observations and extensions of logical treatment. One can think of mathematics as the study of the properties of logical systems. From mathematics come many of the basic, logical rules we use in describing and relating the properties of nature. Biology can be defined as that part of science which deals with those portions of nature which we call “life.” …
Dr. H. Stanley Bennett is Robert R. Bensley Professor of the Biological and Medical Sciences and director of the Laboratories for Cell Biology at the University of Chicago.
DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-9744.1968.tb00155.x


The Naked Ape by Desmond Morris, reviewed by Robert T. Francoeur

Robert T. Francoeur; Fairleigh Dickinson University
DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-9744.1968.tb00156.x

Life or Death, Ethics and Options by Daniel Labbey et al., reviewed by Elisabeth Kübler-Ross, M.D.

Elisabeth Kübler-Ross, M.D.; University of Chicago
DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-9744.1968.tb00156.x

In the Periodicals

Alfred P. Stiernotte; Quinnipiac College
DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-9744.1968.tb00157.x

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